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HMS Pinafore - Gilbert & Sullivan: The Next Generation
By The MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Based on some nonsense by Gilbert & Sullivan


In May of 2018, the MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players put on a rendition of HMS Pinafore. As is their wont, they mixed it up a bit; having already done The Yeomen of the Guard set in WWII London and a steampunk Pirates of Penzance, they decided to tackle the final frontier -- namely Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Rather disappointingly, the players decided to go with a very traditional arrangement done with very little updating of the script and lyrics. There are, however, a smattering of Star Trek related jokes, a handful of aliens, and, of course, it is set on a spaceship. The futuristic technology is present and is worked seamlessly into the actors' actions, but even so, this is very much the original operetta set in a spaceship.

Which is unfortunate, because the the HMS Pinafore has not aged well. Granted, this is mostly because 19th century operettas have not aged well, as the music and vocal accompaniment are rather more high-pitched and warbly than modern works tend to favor. Moreover, the MIT performers are quiet clearly at MIT because of their intelligence and technological know-how, not because of their singing and acting abilities. Even so, this is a fun if unexpectedly accurate reproduction, with occasional Klingons.

In my estimation, this production is probably worth watching if you are a fan of Gilbert & Sullivan, and especially if you are a fan of Gilbert & Sullivan and Star Trek, but not if you are only a fan of Star Trek. It is currently available on YouTube, and you can visit the official site of the MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players here.

SciFiQuest 3019

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